Guinness challenge draws 14 Michigan ski resorts

Greg Tasker
The Detroit News

If Michigan’s ski season got off to a late start this year, winter arrived in time to encourage would-be skiers and snowboarders to gather at resorts across the state in an attempt to set a new world record for a group lesson in skiing or snowboarding.

Fourteen Michigan ski areas (including Mt. Brighton in Metro Detroit) participated in the Guinness Book of World Records event. Organizers are hoping to set records for the world’s largest multi-venue ski lesson and the world’s largest multi-venue snowboard lesson. About 150 ski areas across the country registered for the event.

‘“I think we may have done very well,” says Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association. “We had the second most number of ski areas participating in the country. We had a great turnout. This is one way of getting out there and having some great exercise.”

Organizers of the “World’s Largest Lesson” estimated about 6,000 lessons were taught across the country, from the East Coast to Alaska, during one hour on Jan. 8.

“Who wouldn’t want to set or break a Guinness Book of World Records?” said Mary Jo Tarallo, a spokeswoman for National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. “One of our goals was to motivate first-timers to learn how to ski or snowboard by taking a lesson and engaging with fellow participants.”

Two previous records are at stake: the largest ski lesson and the largest snowboard lesson record at one particular ski area. The single-venue record for each sport is about 500 people.

Official results are not expected until May 31.